In our two-part coverage of IFOS 2023, Andrew McCombe writes about the ENT line-up and Mohammad Sabir reports on the audiology programme.
Having lived and worked in Dubai for seven years , I should have got the hang of the requirement for CME points for my annual license renewal. However, some recent work-related events meant I had taken my eye off the ball and was suddenly faced with the requirement to find a lot of points in a relatively short time frame. So it was with much relief that I realised the International Federation of ORL Societies (IFOS) was coming to town!
The original meeting had been planned for June 2022 in Canada, but Covid and other factors conspired to sabotage this. Therefore, Dubai was chosen to host this meeting relatively late in the day. Nevertheless, as it always seems able to, the city managed to accommodate the change of plan with ease.
The meeting was held in Dubai’s World Trade Centre, which is a vast collection of halls and meeting rooms. And in January, the weather in Dubai is lovely, resembling as it does, a lovely European, summer day. The temperatures are similar too; not the oven-like temperatures of the summer. In fact, just as an aside (and a bit of tourist promotion) I would strongly recommend Dubai as a place to visit over the winter months. The accommodation is excellent, as are the many and varied restaurants, and there is enough to do to keep one amused for at least a week or so.
So, back to the conference…. The academic programme was as you would expect, broad and comprehensive, with a huge range of well-known and well-respected subject-matter speakers. However, with so much going on, for the individual delegate, the problem was really trying to choose what sessions to attend. As always, some of the smaller and more esoteric sessions are amongst the most interesting. As someone whose main day-to-day workload is rhinology, I made a point of choosing sessions I probably wouldn’t normally attend. As a result, I found myself really enjoying the talks on balance and balance disturbance. Who knew dizziness could be so interesting?
However, for me, one of the best things about this meeting was it was a real ‘room’ meeting, not Zoom or any other form of virtual meeting. The opportunity to sit and drink coffee and chat face-to-face with colleagues was a real joy. I think it is probably something we have all missed over the last few years. And also, quite reassuringly, there seemed to be very few legacy reminders of Covid: It looked for all the world as if everyone had got back to normal.
The next meeting will be held in Istanbul in 2026 and if it is anything like this one, will also be a great event to attend.
Andrew McCombe, Consultant (Specialist) ENT Surgeon, Mediclinic City Hospital, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai, UAE.
The International Federation of ORL Societies (IFOS) was an exceptional opportunity for audiologists to be part of a global exchange of ideas about education, research and clinical practice. IFOS aimed to fulfil four key missions: education, research, networking and congress-related activities, which included a dedicated track in the scientific programme to address the needs and interests of young fellows and audiologists.
The venue was spread over several floors with simultaneous sessions on various aspects of otology and audiology. There were presentations from experts from around the globe as well as trainee presentations, both oral as well as posters.
Preliminary programmes were dedicated to topics including audiology, equilibrium and hearing implants. In addition to the usual audiology procedures for different disorders, there was a scientific focus on current advances in the management of hearing loss. There were keynote lectures by world experts on paediatric vestibular disorders, the Vestibulocochlear Implant (VCI) and different approaches to conduct a neonatal hearing screening.
The opening ceremony showcased the cultural life of the United Arab Emirates and demonstrated that the history of Dubai is as interesting and varied as the destination itself. From a small fishing village, Dubai has come a long way to establish itself as one of the world’s most prominent business and trade centres.
Mohammad Sabir, Audiologist, Rehabilitation-Audiology Servi-CLRNAS(Dep) - Clinical Services, Tawam Hospital, Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates.
Turkey has won the bid to host next IFOS in 2026: www.ifosinstanbul2026.org